On the day that the U.S. first surpassed the previous highest number of Covid cases in a 24 hour period set this summer, Homegrown Hitler held a rally of seniors and other unmasked, pressed together in Florida. This is the most literal version possible of the President of the United States as the Grim Reaper, a horror of Hitlerian proportions, once the numbness wears off.
It is also the day--Friday-- that USA Today published the numbers that show that Covid cases grew at a faster rate than before in five counties following one of the Superspreader-in-Chief's maskless rallies: two counties in Pennsylvania, two in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin. And these rallies were before the current madness of several a day when Covid cases are climbing fast.
And we are just entering this dark tunnel of a runaway epidemic this fall and winter. But the light is ongoing, leading to eventual relief: the election which is already in progress.
The US Elections Project out of the U. of Florida estimates that 150 million votes will be cast this year, less than Fivethirtyeight's projection, but enough to top 65% turnout, the highest since 1908. It may be a conservative estimate.
But if that's the final number, then at least a third of it is already done. In Texas, it's 70% of the total votes in 2016.
Some thousands of those votes are going to be thrown out or never counted presumably. But the total numbers of votes may be too great for such suppressions to change the outcomes. Further, it may well be that the surge in early voting is at least partly due to voter rebellion against perceived suppression tactics by Republicans like the Governor of Texas. He tried to severely limit drop boxes for mail-in votes, especially in huge Harris County. Voters caught on to this and turned to early voting--to the tune of over a million so far, in a county of 2.5 million registered voters. Early votes have now nearly equaled the total votes there in 2016.
Two other positive indications also emerged Friday. First, not only do Democrats have a large early vote lead in the swing states, but they are turning out infrequent and newly registered voters at a higher rate.
Second, the youth vote is soaring in early voting compared to 2016. In Florida, over 250,000 have voted, versus 44,000 at this point in 2016. In North Carolina it's more than 204,000 versus 25,000. And in Michigan it is a phenomenal 145,000 versus only 7,000 in 2016. Some analysts worried that the youth vote, notoriously unreliable, would be hurt even more by the Covid chaos on campuses. But these numbers say something else.